I may be the poster child for the sentiment that musical appreciation does not always derive from musical talent. Although I cannot carry a tune in a bucket, play an instrument or read a note, I am a world-class listener. Much like Shrevie says in DIner, there are songs that take me back to times and places in my life. Thirty seconds into Behind Blue Eyes and I am at the Astrodome, enjoying the Who’s first farewell tour in the spring of 1983; Rock and Roll Band (out of Boston) puts me at Port Aransas for my first spring break trip, spring of 1977. So from time to time, I am going to reach back to my musical markers. You should do the same–let us know what you were singing along to and when.
The alpha for my listening career loses points for unoriginality, but quantity, impact and brilliance more than make up for it. The 54 songs on the Beatles’ twin greatest hits albums satisfy the “desert island test”; if that was all you had to listen to for the rest of your life, you would still be ok. I wore the grooves out of those records. The “Red Album” all youthful innocence and beautifully crafted pop rock; the “Blue Album” full of the musical genius that defined a generation.
Dance tunes, love songs and novelties are all there. Any band operating today would be proud of everyone of those songs. And there are 54 of them. Later albums will get more description from me; for these two the music says everything needs to be said.